17:10 Thursday 19th February 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
CHRIS MANN: So the Prime Minister David Cameron is in Cambridgeshire right now, making a speech about the economy. It’s part of a tour of the East of England today. He says that the region is the fastest growing anywhere in the UK outside of London. Our reporter Emma Howgego is at his speech, and she talked to me a little earlier about what it contains.
EMMA HOWGEGO: We’ve been on a bit of a whistle-stop tour of the East of England Chris. He started the day in Suffolk, over in Felixstowe, then made his way to Lowestoft, before heading off to RAF Marham in Norfolk, and the final stop on his tour is at the Cambridge Science Park. The reason he’s here? Well it’s his favourite topic of the election campaign, the economy.
CHRIS MANN: And what message is the Prime Minister trying to get across overall today?
EMMA HOWGEGO: Well he says the East of England is the fastest growing region outside of London. Of course he says that is down to the policies of the Coalition Government. He claimed that the region has 80,000 more businesses than in 2010, and that 200,000 extra people are now in regular work. He highlighted science and high tech industries as the reason that places like Cambridgeshire are doing so well.
CHRIS MANN: And he’s had words to say about the future. He’s got some plans and some announcements.
EMMA HOWGEGO: That’s right. Well David Cameron has outlined plans for further growth in the region. Amongst the announcements, £5 million for the Science Park Technology Centre in Cambridge. That money will be match-funded by Trinity College. He outlined his overall plans for the region at his first meeting in Felixstowe earlier.
DAVID CAMERON: Now today I want to talk about what this means for the East of England, and in particular the steps we’re now going to take to see through our plan, here in this region. This includes transforming the infrastructure that has frankly held the East of England back for too long. It means backing the region’s unique strengths in science, technology, defence, agriculture and energy. It means improving the quality of life for this region. And above all it means delivering the jobs and growth on which our future prosperity depend.
CHRIS MANN: So in that clip we heard there, the Prime Minister mentioned infrastructure Emma. Put some meat on those bones.
EMMA HOWGEGO: Yes that’s right. Well I’m sure any listener to this programme will be asking the question, with all these jobs where are people going to live, and how are they going to get there. Now the things he’s mentioned included money for the A14 upgrade, which we already knew about, the Oxford to Cambridge rail line, which we already knew about, and he did say he wanted to see extended to Norwich and Ipswich, that is something new, along with electrifying the line between Birmingham and Felixstowe. And that actually passes through our part of the country in Ely and Peterborough. He also mentioned the A47 around Peterborough as well. Now in addition he mentioned money for rural broadband, Again that is something we already knew about. So all in all it seems this visit to Cambridge today is very much a reannouncement of policies and a reminder of what the Government has promised to do. And anybody would think there was an election around the corner.
CHRIS MANN: Emma Howgego there.